Lifestyle & Belief

Australian Olympic weightlifter Daniel Koum accused of demanding $5,000 to lift


Daniel Koum of Australia competes in the men's 62kg weightlifting group at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.


Mark Kolbe

An Australian weightlifter demanded $5,000,000 in payment while competing at the Oceania Weightlifting Championships in Samoa last week, Australian Weightlifting Federation has claimed.

According to ABC Radio Australia, the Federation's chief executive Michael Keelan, confirmed a competitor been offered $1,000 as an incentive to lift 250 kilograms in his 62kg weight division and ensure an Australian weightlifter qualified for the London Olympics.  However, Keelan says that they demanded a bigger payment before beginning the warm-up.

More from GlobalPost: London 2012 - Opening ceremony plans unveiled

Other sources named the weightlifter in question as 26-year-old Daniel Koum, The Age reports.  The became an Australian citizen in 2008 and trains in Melbourne.

Australian Associated Press says Koum essentially "held his federation to ransom, explaining that his withdrawal would have prevented any Australian male weightlifter competing at the London Olympics because Australia had to finish in the top five of the event to earn one place at the Games.

Koum has denied the allegations, says The Brisbane Times, but he did not travel home with the team and left a day later instead.

More from GlobalPost: Adidas Olympic gear made in Indonesian sweatshops, report claims